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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

Physical strength a good indicator of teens' overall health

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 10:00 PM PDT

Their risk of heart disease and diabetes is lower.

A new study by the University of Michigan Medical School found adolescents with stronger muscles have a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. Such children also have lower body mass index (BMI) and smaller waists and are in better shape overall.

Researchers examined data from over 1,400 children aged 10 to 12, including their percentage of body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, glucose level and triglycerides. The strongest among them had the lowest risk for diabetes and heart disease. Research was based on data from the Cardiovascular Health Intervention Programme (CHIP), which studied sixth graders in 17 mid-area Michigan schools from 2005 to 2008.

"It's a widely-held belief that BMI, sedentary behaviours and low cardiovascular fitness levels are linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke, but our findings suggest muscle strength possibly may play an equally important role in cardiometabolic health in children," said lead author Mark D. Peterson, PhD, M.S, research assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Participant strength was tested using a standardized hand grip assessment. Cardiorespiratory fitness was also examined.

"The stronger you are relative to your body mass, the healthier you are," Peterson noted. "Exercise, sports, and even recreational activity that supports early muscular strength acquisition, should complement traditional weight loss interventions among children and teens in order to reduce risks of serious diseases throughout adolescence."

This is the first study to demonstrate a link between strength and reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes in adolescents. A Swedish study from 2012 found high muscular strength in adolescence was associated with a 20-35% lower risk of premature mortality – all caused or due to cardiovascular disease.

The new study was published in the journal Pediatrics. – AFP Relaxnews

Caught on film: Boy does not want another sister

Posted: 30 Mar 2014 11:05 PM PDT

A young boy reacts badly to news of his parents having another baby girl.

What happens when the only boy in the family of three siblings, discovers that his mother is pregnant with another baby girl?

He indignantly protests by crying and saying how much he "hates girls" and that it's "stupid" to have another girl.

"Every time it's a girl, girl, girl!" he complains, while his two younger sisters stare at him with looks that seem to say, "Dude, what the heck is your problem?"

Later on the little boy also threatens to leave the family forever.

The video of how young Gunner Mertlich reacted (very) badly to news of another baby girl joining the family has gone viral with more than 1.5 million hits since it was uploaded on YouTube March 22 by Tiffany Mertlich. The father, who reveals that he was also hoping for a boy instead of a girl, filmed the whole thing.

It's seriously cute ... but the unborn little sister may not think so once she's old enough to get her hands on the video.

An unhappy Gunner with his happy little sisters. 


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